Exclusive: Italy's Consob alleges Monte Paschi misled regulator in 2012

Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:06am EDT
 
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MILAN/ROME (Reuters) - Italian stock market regulator Consob alleged earlier this year Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena hindered the activity of regulators by providing incomplete or incorrect information in 2012, when its new management was already in charge.

A Consob document sent to prosecutors in Siena in February said that in April 2012 the bank provided "not truthful or misleading" information about a hybrid financial instrument, known as Fresh 2008, that Monte dei Paschi used to partly fund its purchase of smaller rival Antonveneta in 2008.

In the document, reviewed by Reuters, Consob also alleged that the Tuscan bank hid the true nature of a 2009 derivative contract with Japanese bank Nomura known as Alexandria in a series of written answers it gave to Consob between November 2011 and October 2012.

Consob declined to comment. Monte Paschi was not immediately available for comment.

Former Monte dei Paschi Chairman Giuseppe Mussari and former director general Antonio Vigni are both under investigation in relation to both the Antonveneta deal and a series of loss-making derivatives trades, including Alexandria.

They were replaced by CEO Fabrizio Viola, who took office in January 2012, and Chairman Alessandro Profumo, who was appointed in April 2012.

(Reporting by Silvia Aloisi and Stefano Bernabei; Editing by Lisa Jucca)

 
The main entrance to Monte Dei Paschi bank headquarters is pictured in Siena January 25, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini